Mazda6 Diesel Delayed, but More Diesels Could Follow

Mazda6

Mazda officials told us at this month's Mazda3 preview that more Mazda diesels could be on the way if shoppers snap up the Mazda6 diesel. But we won't know that until next year — the automaker pushed back the oil-burning version of its redesigned family sedan from late 2013 to a spring 2014 launch.

"Based on the reception that [the Mazda6] receives, we will determine whether we add [diesels] to other vehicle lines," Mazda spokesman Jeremy Barnes told us Sept. 18.

That would make Mazda the latest automaker to board the small but growing affordable-diesel bandwagon. Up until recently, the only small non-luxury diesel sedan was Volkswagen's Jetta TDI. Volkswagen doesn't regularly break out Jetta TDI sales, and two spokesmen did not immediately provide figures. But 38.5% of new Jetta inventory on Cars.com are TDIs, which suggests the diesel is a popular choice for Jetta shoppers. VW added a TDI version to its U.S. Beetle for 2013, and GM threw its hat in the ring with the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel, which went on sale earlier this year.

But before anyone starts clamoring for a Mazda3 diesel, hold onto your horses — or pounds-feet, as it were — we'll first need to see the diesel Mazda6, and that could be a while. Automotive News reported on Sept. 12 (subscription required) that the car wouldn't arrive until April 2014 because of delays in emissions testing. Mazda emailed us a statement that said the launch "has been moved to late-Spring 2014, [sic] to accommodate final emissions testing and certification."

"It's taking longer to finalize the emissions testing than we had anticipated," Barnes told us this morning. He doesn't think that will push back the Mazda6 diesel's model year to 2015, but he cautioned that full details are still unconfirmed.

Leftlane News expects the Mazda6's 2.2-liter SkyActiv-D diesel four-cylinder to make some 173 horsepower and — impressive even for a diesel — 310 pounds-feet of torque, which jibes with what Mazda told us in November 2012 that early-prototype tests had revealed. Seeing as the diesel Mazda6 supplants any V-6 or turbo gasoline option, at least for now, the torque will come in handy.

Barnes wouldn't confirm any power ratings, however.

"Until we have final certification numbers on all the emissions stuff, I'd rather wait" on exact power specs, he said. "Obviously the same thing [goes] with fuel economy numbers as well."

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By Kelsey Mays | September 23, 2013 | Comments (11)

Comments 

North

Mazda, subaru and Nissan all threatened to bring diesel cars to the US and changed their plans, about the time when the 3 series diesel six cylinder went on "hiatus." Now it's coming back next year as a four cylinder, probably slower than a gas 328 but with a huge price tag anyway.

Wain

Could be that they changed their mind or did not meet certification?

North

Honda mentioned emissions standards when they canceled plans for an Acura diesel. That combined with the high cost of diesel tech and the fuel are likely factors. Some didn't state a reason. If diesel sales take off I assume those brands will join the competition.

Greg

I personally think there are technical problems and not just emission certification delays. This enginge has been for sale in other countries for about two years now, so if was just testing, they should have been through a long time ago. It could be that US diesel fuel is different, or that US emission regs require different set-ups, or they could be addressing the rising oil level problem. Regardless, they cannot afford to sour customers on the diesel, so everything has to be right before its release.

Tony

Greg, you're right. I read that Mazda diesel has had some problems in other countries and they want to polish the engine before entering US market. Because if they screw up... they can't afford lose more customers. They finally start to bring back some clientele. Mazda6 needs to get numbers. I remember days when 626 was everywhere. But they started to produce it with Ford. Transmissions were blowing at 40K and nobody wanted this car anymore. I wish they would bring their 929 RWD sedan back...

Jacopo

Hi, Just a note. I am from the European Community. The Mazda 6 Has been launched in Europe in May 2013. Arount 70% of the sale are the 4 cylinder disel of 2.2. The same disel has been used by a SUV (CX5) from outumn last year. No news of any problem in Europe about such motor or Mazda 6. The motor pass the next emission limits for Europe that will enter in force in 2015 (Euro6) which are very tight. We normally buy more diesel due to the lower gas consumption due to the high price of both carburants (Around 1,8 USD /litre, yeah almost 2 dollar for each liter).

carma

Gasoline in my area is $2.99 per gallon at some stations while diesel is about $4. Good time to delay trying to sell a diesel car.

DieselOx

If automakers keep putting diesels in 4 door sedans, they will limit sales. If they would put the D in a CX5, every VW Jetta Wagon owner would migrate quick. VW has a bad rep among its owners, they are ripe for picking. The attitude is , yeah, VW's fall apart in 2 or 3 years, but what option do I have? After struggling with a VW TDI Golf for years, I'm driving a Subaru Outback until the first Japanese midsized non luxury AWD Wagon Diesel is available here. There is a HUGE pent up demand for this vehicle.

pismopal

there are several reasons to have a diesel automobile and not all of them have to do with mpg. A diesel auto is easier to drive with a manual trans. There is no bucking as the rpm drops along with torque..the torque is always there. The price of diesel is because the largest consumer of diesel fuel are trucks..real trucks, not piss ant pick ups. Commercial trucks have no choice about what type of fuel to burn and they make money so they can pass the extra cost of fuel to you, the consumer. The petroleum industry has decided to screw you....why?..because they can..same reason a dog licks his balls.

pismopal

The new Mazda diesel has had problems with fuel finding its way to the oil sump making oil changes necessary at short intervals and poor lubing in between. The cover story is irrelevant..the released product will be excellent I predict and the lines will be long. I am not in such a hurry..I will wait.

Sergei

hey, just be realistic, imaging how many of US government officials they have to please in order to get it through…. Off the record--Mazda's diesel idea is BRILLIANT!!!

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